December 2017 Visa Bulletin Analysis

The December visa bulletin was released this week.  Date movement trends forward with only a few exceptions of retrogression.  Individuals with non-minister special immigrant (SR) and the employment 5th preference categories (I5 and R5) visas will want to pay special attention to legislative news in the coming month. Provisions which were part of the Continuing Resolution are set to end on December 8th, meaning that there will be no further issuance or admission to the US after December 7th for these unique visas unless lawmakers provide a fix.

Employment-Based Movement

The EB-1 category continues to be a bright spot. Availability was as predicted this month and is expected to remain current for the foreseeable future months.  Those who may qualify for EB-1 include individuals with documented abilities in the arts, sciences, education, business, and sports.  The category also includes outstanding scientists and researchers.  There are significant ongoing benefits to the priority dates in this category. An experienced practitioner in this field, such as our own Allyn Sinicropi, can assess your qualifications and decide if a petition should be mounted now or how improving your C.V. may bolster a future application.

EB-2 for All Others and those born in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines remains current.

EB-2 India moved slightly forward just over 3 weeks to 01NOV08.

EB-2 China also advanced, at a pace of two weeks, to 01JUL13.

EB-3 Stays current for All Others. China advanced four weeks to 08MAR14. There was no forward movement for India; stuck at 15OCT06 where it has been for the past three bulletins.

Family-Based Movement

Family-based priority dates continued to move forward at a slower pace than last month.

Across F1 (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US Citizens) the pace was forward about two weeks forward.  Mexico did not advance and remains locked at 01APR96.  The Philippines jumped back two years to 01JAN05.

F2A (Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents) moved forward in all columns, advancing three to four weeks for all countries.  There was a one-week advancement in F2B (Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents) for all except Mexico and the Philippines.  The Phillippines retrogressed six months to 01JUL06.

F3 (Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens) continued to advance three-four weeks across the board.

The F4 category (Brothers and Sisters of Adult US Citizens) advanced most notably for India (22NOV03) and the Philippines (01AUG94).

*Updated November 29, 2017*

USCIS has announced the following charts may be used during December:

For Family-Sponsored Filings:
You must use the Dates for Filing chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for December 2017.

For Employment-Based Preference Filings:
You must use the Final Action Dates chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for December 2017.